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MontBell Alpine Light Down Jacket

rated 5 of 5 stars
photo: MontBell Alpine Light Down Jacket down insulated jacket

This jacket is the most warm down jacket I have ever worn! It is great as a stand alone or mid layer. I absolutely recommend it. I am one of those ladies who is cold all the time, but not when I am wearing the MontBell Alpine Light Down Jacket. If you are looking for maximum warmth with minimum weight, this is the jacket for you.


  • Very warm
  • Very lightweight
  • Wind resistant
  • Resilient 30 D ballistic nylon shell
  • DWR
  • Takes up very little room in your pack/very packable


  • The fit is not as flattering as I would like, so size down
  • No zippered pockets
  • The torso length does not cover your bottom/it is relatively short

Why I bought it:

I bought the MontBell Alpine Light Down Jacket almost immediately after I saw the parka win the Backpacker Editor's Choice Award. I prefer jackets to parkas because I don't really like hoods unless it is raining. I have several puffy jackets (Patagoina Hi Loft Down Sweater, Patagonia UL Down Jacket, Patagonia Nano Puff Pullover, Arc'Teryx Atom LT Jacket, etc...), but this one is by far the most warm.

Another factor in my decision to purchase this jacket is I also have the MontBell UL Down Hugger #1 sleeping bag and it is wonderful as well. I thought to myself, "Now if I could only have a jacket that feels like this!" It doesn't feel exactly the same, but it is pretty close.


My husband and I in our MontBells. His is the UL Down and mine is the Alpine Light Down. *If you need help deciding between these two, I will be glad to give you insight.



  • 11.3 oz (320.3 g) Women's Medium
  • 25.6" (65 cm) length of the back
  • 25 wash rated DWR
  • Exterior is 30 Denier Ballistic Ripstop Nylon (making it wind resistant)
  • Interior is 30 Denier Ballistic Taffeta Nylon (these two layers of nylon are "sewn thru", creating boxwall baffles and eliminating cold spots)
  • 800 fill goose down (2.9 oz fill weight)
  • Very soft and warm Micro-fleece collar
  • Comes with a stuff sack (8"long, 4" around when stuffed)
  • Elastic cuffs that seal in heat
  • The updated one has a drawcord hem, but mine does not (one of my few complaints about mine)
  • Two deep interior pockets ("water bottle pockets")

Here, you can see the water bottle pockets, the stitching, and the micro-fleece collar.


I think that the women's version does run a little bit big. It is not as flattering as I would like for it to be. I would size down if this is a concern for you. If you like your jackets to have extra layering room, then I would say that it is true to size.


This jacket is VERY comfortable. When you put it on, you feel instant heat and it feels like it is giving you a hug! I know that isn't a very good description, but that is the best way that I can describe how good it feels right when you put it on!


I have already expressed how warm this jacket is, but I guess that I should add that I wore it with just a Smartwool NTS shirt underneath on a night when the temperature dipped into the 20s and I didn't even need another layer. Normally, in that situation, I would have on the Smartwool shirt, my Patagonia R1 Pullover, puffy, and if it is windy at all, a rainshell on top. It also regulates body heat very well. I have never over-heated in it.

Water Resistance:

I have never worn it in the rain, but I have spilled drops of water on it and they just rolled off. I mentioned earlier that it has DWR rated to 25 washings.

Exterior View

View of it stuffed, in comparison to the Patagonia UL Down Jacket, which is much smaller, lighter, and thinner.

* As a side note, I saw that some other reviews claimed that it loses feathers. I have not noticed this problem at all. It does not lose feathers any more than any other down jacket or sleeping bag. It also retains its loft very well after being stuffed.

Final Verdict:

I have tried, but can not say enough great things about this jacket. It is wonderful and I would not hesitate to buy it again. I absolutely love it and it is one of the best gear investments that I have ever made.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $165 from MontBell, I believe

Light, comfortable, warm insulator.


  • Good fit
  • Light, 800 fill premium down


  • Zipper can be snaggy

Montbell makes great down products and this jacket is no exception.  Very lightweight, but also very warm.

I am 5.10  172 Lbs and selected a large, I tried a medium as well but liked the longer arms and not so tight in the neck and chest.  I wanted to be able to wear alone and also layer with a down vest underneath for super warmth. The large worked perfect.

I have a down light vest (Medium size) in this same brand, and I like to layer this jacket on top and then add a water proof breathable shell for a very light multiple layering system that can handle a huge range of temperature and activity change.

This is a down sweater, not a full blown waterproof outerlayer. The fabric has held up well but it is not a heavy duty abrassion resistant nylon. It is best for drier cold use. Perfect as a very compressible warm layer to pull out of the pack when at rest, or layering.  

Love it.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $110 e net deal

You gotta try it to believe it...

I purchased the men's version to have a more comfortable fit for layering, as not all women are shaped like a bell, which is a good thing! Anyway after reading many reviews and checking many sites for the best price OMC won out! And their customer service ROCKS!

This jacket is one of the best I own and as a woman I own a LOT of jackets! It's very warm for its fill weight of 4oz-800 fill, the large drop pockets inside assure I don't lose my favorite gloves.

For a "no frills" jacket it ended up my favorite, the elastic cuffs are better quality than I thought, and the color is pretty nice (blue) for a guy's jacket. The hand warmer pockets do work fine, even as others have wished for both sides to be lined. I love the soft fleece at the neck very soft! For me the only problem is the static on my long hair!

I have tested this jacket in short sleeves in 28 degrees and was not cold at all. I also compared it to my OR Virtuoso jacket which has 8.5 oz of 650 fill and should be warmer, but I actually grab my MontBell first!! You have to try it to believe it!

I got a steal of a deal on the Virtuoso but not sure if I'll keep it. I own 2 Montbell jackets, the UL Tech at 2.9oz-800 fill and it is also a great jacket!

As far as the other guy's review — I really think he should contact Montbell if he got a dud of a jacket, their customer service is really, really good, I'm sure they'll make it right. But even Montbell can't please everyone! Except me, I am one Happy camper!! Thanks!

Price Paid: $157

Fantastic lightweight jacket. The hood is the only difference from the parka.


  • Retains body heat
  • Blocks wind
  • Lightweight
  • Great pockets
  • Great zips
  • Almost quiet


  • If you have a scruffy beard the collar material can pluck a whisker and make you wince, but is super soft and warm.

Warmth-to-weight is the best...and I've bought a bunch of gear. Windproof just this side of a gale. Pockets are warm—down is to the outside.

I bought two and the alpine vest for myself. And also Xmas gifts to my hunt buddy and his wife. Hunt between 3k'-10k'. The internal waist hem adj is super—no dangling cords to catch on everything. I wear a lightweight softshell to protect it in scrubby terrain and to camo the 30 Denier and for rain and snow protection.

I'm 6'3", 240 lbs, 65 years old and the XL fits me. I'm an old original Eddie Bauer fan and I love this product.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $140-$175

Great warmth, small size.


  • Very warm
  • Wind resistant
  • Very compressible


  • None

Bought two of these for my son and I to go to Philmont BS camp. Have been using along the Appalachian Trail. Amazingly warm and lightweight. Fit is true to size, pockets are good and very wind resistant.

Montbell makes great down products. This is almost as warm as my LL Bean down parka.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $155

I got this jacket for trekking in Nepal. I wanted ultralight, compressible and warm, which I could carry in my pack for the high and chilly sections either alone or under a light shell. It did the job and was superb in all respects. And, though not a primary consideration, it looks great.

Price Paid: $130

Super nice jacket. Very warm and light and compresses to a tiny size. Perfect size down jacket. Not big like the Michelin man and not teeny like the UL Down Inner Jacket. Just right. Looks really sharp on the town as I have had several positive compliments.

Price Paid: $130

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Price Historic Range: $87.48-$174.95
Reviewers Paid: $110.00-$157.00
Price MSRP: $175.00
Historic Range: $33.95-$175.00
Reviewers Paid: $165.00
Weight 11.3 oz (Size M)
Fill Weight 2.9 oz
Insulation 800 fill power goose down
Shell Fabric 30-denier Ballistic rip-stop nylon
Lining Fabric 30-denier Ballistic nylon taffeta
Center Back Length 25.6 in (Size M)
Product Details from MontBell »

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